Pekingese

Type: Companion Dog

Height: 6 - 9 inches.

Weight: 6 - 14 lbs. There are varieties that are only up to 6 lbs., 6 - 8 lbs., or 8 - 14 lbs.

Life Span: 13 - 15 years.

Litter Size: 2 - 4 puppies.

Country of Origin: China

Activity: Low

Watch-dog: Very High. Pekingese are very suspicious of strangers.

Guard-dog: Very Low. If threatened or the one they love is threatened, the Pekingese will fight to the death, but otherwise this breed should never show aggression.


Description: The Pekingese is the ultimate lap dog and devoted companion. They are very small dogs, but very furry and and fluffy. Their fur sometimes makes them look much bigger than they actually are. Pekingese have drop ears that are medium length, and short, flat muzzles between two protruding eyes. Equipped with short, bowed legs, the Pekingese can get around quite well for being vertically challenged. They will adapt to their environment and surroundings well. Even though they have a mind of their own and like to get their own way, their independent spirit is their most endearing characteristic. A firm hand will let them know who is master. Pekingese are very suspicious of strangers. They are also an affectionate, noble dog who are both self-centered and stubborn. Although they can be suspicious, they are never aggressive toward strangers. They can be very loving with their owners and like the attention. Pekingese are very confident and self-willed. They have charm, dignity and purpose, but can also be fearless when called upon. They have always been used as a companion dog, giving affection and comfort to whoever is willing to pamper them.

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Other Names: Lion Dog, Peking Palasthund, Foo (or Fu) dog, Peke

Colors: All colors and markings are permissible. They are often red, fawn, black, black and tan, sable, brindle, gold, white and parti-colored. Black masks and

Coat: Long, straight, harsh, profuse double-coat with a coarse top coat, thick and ample undercoat and profuse mane and feathered tail. They have a heavy feathering all over. Some have the spaniel-type coat, while others have the longer coat. The long coat is preferred in the show ring.

Temperament: Pekingese are independent, stubborn and lively. They enjoy the affection of their owners, and give affection in return. They are happy, playful and alert. Pekingese make faithful companions, with confidence and charm. They can be fearless when they need to be. Pekingese are suspicious of strangers, but never aggressive toward them. They are not very obedient, and can sometimes get jealous. This is more of a one-person breed.

With Children: Yes, but not suited for young children as they do not like to be disturbed while sleeping. More suited for older, quieter, children.

With Pets: Yes, if socialized at a young age. They have a tendency to be suspicious of other dogs and if they have never been around other dogs other than their siblings, they are likely to not get along with a new dog. But if socialized, they will do fine with other dogs.

Special Skills: Companion dog.

Care and Training: Daily grooming with a brush or comb, taking extra care around the hindquarters which can become soiled or matted. Female Pekingese will shed their undercoat when in season. Dry shampoo regularly. Pekingese will not benefit from long walks, but they do need some form of exercise or activity. Training can be difficult. You can not be overly bossy with your Pekingese, but they do need basic training to be a well adjusted companion. Praise them when they do something right, but do not punish harshly when they do something wrong. Pekingeses can be very difficult to train.

Learning Rate: High. Obedience - Very Low. Problem Solving - Low.

Special Needs: Attention, training, socialization and grooming.

Living Environment: The Pekingese is just as at home in a small apartment as a large house. The owner of a Pekingese needs to be a patient leader who does not expect an instant response. Pekingese also have a tendency to be bossy and they like to be pampered. It is thought that they must be

Health Issues: Congestive heart failure, problems birthing, breathing problems and their eyes are sensitive and prone to corneal ulcers.

History: Folklore has a wonderful little story that the Pekingese in that it was an offspring of a lion and a marmoset. In reality, they date back some 2000 years ago in China. For centuries they were the sacred dog of China, being coveted and treasured for their quaintness and individuality. Many dogs were prized among royalty in the past, but few compare to the luxury enjoyed by the Pekingese. They were so protected by the royal palaces it was said that death was the punishment for those who tried to smuggle them into the outside world. For a time, 4000 eunuchs in the Peking Imperial Palaces were in charge of breeding and taking care of the Pekingese. When slave women's daughter's were slaughtered expendably, they would care for a Pekingese instead. There was one type of Pekingese at the time called a "sleeve". Sleeves were so small they could fit in the folds of a Chinese sleeve. This tiny version of the Pekingese is rare but is still bred in China today. Buddhism in China put much emphasis on lions, calling them protectors of the faith. Therefore, when this little "lion dog" was produced, they were greatly sought after. They reached the height of their popularity in the 19th century, in which the Emperor would appear with the bark of two Pekingese, while two more Pekingese would follow behind daintily carrying the hems of his robe. Unfortunately in that same century Britain and France sacked the Empire, in which the imperial family was given instructions to kill all the Pekingese if the "foreign devils" got in in order to protect the breed from leaving the country. When they were overthrown, officers found five little Pekingese guarding the body if the aunt of the imperial family, of whom had slain herself to die with honor. In 1860, these five little dogs were taken back to England from Peking. All were under 6 lbs. Little is known of the breed after this until 1896 when a famous pair of black Pekingese were imported by Mrs. Loftus Allen. In 1909 the breed was accepted by the AKC, and by England in 1910. One famous Peke named "Fifi the Peke" is known as the girlfriend of Pluto, Mickey Mouse's pet dog. Another, named "Manchu", was owned by Theodore Roosevelt's daughter. Today they still mostly serve the same purpose as they have in the past - to be royally pampered by their owners!

First Registered by the AKC: 1915

AKC Group: Toy Group

Class: Toy

Registries: AKC, ANKC, CKC, FCI (Group 9), KC (GB), UKC